UK eHarmony Ads Banned for False Claims of Science

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In January 2018, Britain’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) banned advertisements by online dating service eHarmony that claimed it uses a “scientifically proven matching system.”

eHarmony is perhaps the best-known dating service claiming to mix science with seduction. According to the company’s website, its marriage profile, “developed by a team of clinical experts … is rooted in classical psychometric theory—which uses well-established standards to measure mental abilities and traits in a reliable way.”

eHarmony makes many claims about the scientific validity of their matching program, which they call a “Compatibility Matching System.” eHarmony’s claims to science and scientific validity are both explicit and implicit throughout the company’s literature. A representative from eHarmony told me explicitly that “eHarmony’s matching system was developed using an empirical, scientific process.”

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